A couple of days ago a friend was looking around in the kitchen and asking if there was a peeler. I answered and said there wasn't, but asked what he wanted to peel. His response: a mango.
With the except of one time on a beach, I've never gone through the messy, sticky, trouble of trying to peel a mango (let alone with a peeler - as the skin is often very tough!). Growing up in a warmer climate where mango's could grow, I learned from an early age the easiest way to cut and eat a mango. The other day made me realise I take this knowledge for granted - not everyone knows this!
Needless to say, I showed him how to quickly and easily cut a mango so that the mess is minimal, and you can the most delicious orange flesh from this awesome fruit. I wanted to share, in case it helped someone else!
You don't need much to cut a mango, but here is what you will need:
- a ripe mango (if you give it a small squeeze it should be soft, and not rock hard)
- a sharp knife
- a cutting board
- a plate/bowl/paper towel or whatever you want to eat your mango off of.
Step 1: Prepare Your Mango, Find the Pit, and Cut It Out.
- I always suggest to prepare your mango by washing the outside skin with water.
- Next, before you begin cutting, it will be good to look at your mango and assess where the pit will be.
- You may know that the reason a mango can be tricky to cut is because it has a large, flat, oblong-shaped-pit in it, located right in the centre. It almost divides the fruit in half, and you are not able to cut through it easily.
- So, if place the mango on it's narrow side, you can imagine the pit going right down the centre. You want to then offset your knife to one side and cut straight down (see photo). This will allow you to cut right along side the flat pit.
- Finish getting the pit out by moving your knife over about 1/4 inch (to the other side) and repeat the same cut straight downwards. You'll now have 3 pieces (2 side pieces, and a pit from the centre)
- If it is difficult to cut, you might have misjudged and hit the pit. Just start over and give it a bit more room. The knife should cut through fairly easily.
Step 2: Blooming Mango!
Here is the fun part!
First, pull the skin off of the middle slice (containing the pit) and put this aside. You can just dive in and eat any extra mango flesh off there, or if you prefer, you can cut as much off as possible.
On each of the two sides, you need to lightly cut each into parallel lines and then turn the fruit 90 degrees and repeat so you end up with a cube effect.
Then holding the piece (more firmly with your thumbs on the edge), you can slowly use your fingers to push the skin upwards (towards the flesh) and it will 'bloom'. This is not only nice to look at, but incredibly functional because now you can easily eat each cube right from the skin (with very little mess)!
Delicious - I hope you enjoy!
- If you want it for a salad, you can make the cube smaller by cutting your lines more frequently.
- You can just slice one way if you want mango slices instead!